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England vs Spain LIVE: Euro 2022 team news, line-ups and more tonight as Sarina Wiegman cleared to return

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Covid-hit Sarina Wiegman ‘very hopeful’ of making England’s Euros quarter-final

Euro 2022 has reached the knock-out stages and it’s England’s turn first up to try and advance to the last four, as they face Spain in the quarter-finals at the Amex Stadium in Brighton. Both these nations were seen as potential winners at the outset of the competition, especially prior to Spanish midfielder Alexia Putellas suffering a long-term knee injury, while the likes of big-hitters Germany, Sweden and Netherlands remain in the knockouts too and will hope to go the distance.

During the group stage, England eased past Austria, Norway and Nothern Ireland without conceding a single goal, but the real tests start from this point on for Sarina Wiegman’s side. The head coach will be back on the sidelines too after recovering from Covid, though goalkeeper Hannah Hampton has now tested positive.

As for Spain, they finished second in Group B behind Germany, beating Denmark and Finland but knowing they need an improvement from this point onward to go deep into the competition.

Follow all the latest news, build-up and line-ups ahead of England vs Spain at Euro 2022 below:

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Euro 2022 group stage review: Group B

Germany matched England with three wins and three clean sheets, beating Spain to top spot thanks to a 2-0 win in the meeting between the sides, while Alexandra Popp scored in all three games – a feat shared with only the Lionesses’ Beth Mead.

Spain held off Denmark for second place, with the Scandinavian side managing only one goal from 36 shots across their three games with only a quarter of those on target. Discipline also proved costly for the Danes, as they ranked fourth for fouls committed and had the most bookings, six, while only they and Belgium have had a player sent off.

Spain lead the way in possession and attacks, with only their poor conversion rate – five goals from 62 attempts – preventing them from qualifying more comfortably.

Bottom side Finland managed only 15 total shots, ahead of only Northern Ireland (13) in that category.

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Euro 2022 group stage review: Group A

Norway were the surprise casualties of round one, finishing third behind England and Austria, and their defensive record illustrates what went wrong.

The 8-0 defeat to the Lionesses was the most striking result and, despite a mid-ranking 115 attacks against them, according to Uefa’s official stats, Martin Sjogren’s side gave up five clear chances across their three games.

That matched group rivals Northern Ireland, the lowest-ranked side in the tournament and one of only two to finish without a point, for the most in the group stage. The only goals Norway scored also came against the minnows.

England marched to top spot, scoring 14 goals from 69 shots for a tournament-high 20 per cent conversion rate, while Austria secured their progress by conceding only one goal in three games.

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Russo thriving with England

Alessia Russo has been directly involved in eight goals in her 10 games for England with seven goals and one assist.

Seven of her goal involvements for the Lionesses have come as a substitute (six goals, one assist), scoring twice last time out versus Northern Ireland.

Indeed, Russo became just the third player to score 2+ goals in a Women’s Euros game as a substitute after Lena Videkull in March 1995 (Sweden vs Norway) and Fatmire Bajramaj in August 2009 (Germany v Norway).

(EPA)

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Russo on playing for England

Alessia Russo made her impact on Euro 2022 when she came off the bench and bagged a brace in England’s 5-0 victory over Northern Ireland last time and the Manchester United striker has been speaking about what playing for the Lionesses means to her.

“I enjoy every game in an England shirt, to come on and score is great, I’m buzzing to get the three points and move onto the next stage of the tournament,” she said. “I luckily got in the right place at the right time and was able to put them in the back of the net. Obviously I want to play every game for England, but I’ve just got to be patient.

“The girls did brilliant first-half and second, it took a while to break them down but we knew that they were going to put a block on and sit deep but we broke them down and got the two goals leading into half time.”

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Sarina Wiegman hopes England team will be more racially diverse in future

Sarina Wiegman hopes the England team will be more racially diverse in the longer term.

Former Lionesses defender Anita Asante believes the pathway into the elite women’s game has to be reformed to achieve greater diversity, with just three of the 23 members of Wiegman’s Euro 2022 squad from black, Asian or mixed heritage backgrounds.

Writing in The Guardian, Asante said: “Young girls who cannot see anyone who looks like they do lack heroines to emulate – and that matters.”

She called for a more imaginative approach to scouting in urban and inner-city areas, and for more resources to be assigned to the scouting network in the women’s game.

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England under Wiegman

England have scored 93 goals in their 16 games under Sarina Wiegman, netting at an average of 5.8 goals per game.

Indeed, the Lionesses have conceded just three goals under Wiegman and never more than once in a game keeping 14 clean sheets on the way.

(PA)

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Daly on competing for places

Rachel Daly says the competition for starting places in the England team is very strong and the desire to hold onto a role can make you a better player. Daly has started all three games for England at the Euros this summer, making the left-back role her own but she knows that could change saying: “You don’t take anything for granted. The competition is so, so strong and anyone can play in any role. “It’s good for me, but I just want to keep a clean sheet and keep winning. That’s all that matters.”

Speaking about being moved to the left-side of England’s set up Daly replied: “Do you think I’m enjoying playing there?

“I enjoy it, I love it. I think it really suits my attributes. But again, like I say, I’ll play whatever role I’m asked to on the pitch.”

(Getty Images)

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Ellen White can change the way women’s football is thought about, Kelly Smith claims

A record-breaking Euro 2022 from Ellen White would ignite a paradigm shift in the perception of women’s football, says former England star Kelly Smith.

White can match Wayne Rooney’s 53-goal England record as early as Wednesday if she nets in the their quarter-final clash with Spain.

The Manchester City striker surpassed Smith’s 46-goal tally in November to become the Lionesses’ all-time top scorer and edged ever closer to Rooney’s total with a brace in England’s 8-0 group stage rout of Norway.

While White herself prefers to redirect attention to her Group A-topping squad’s collective efforts, Smith, who won 117 caps for England, was more than willing to wax lyrical about the self-effacing Lionesses lynchpin.

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England vs Spain

England have won seven of their last eight matches at the Women’s European Championships (one loss), as many as they’d won in their first 23 games in the competition (three draws, 13 defeats).

The Lionesses have netted more goals at Euro 2022 (14) than they have in any previous edition of the competition (previous highest was 12 goals in 2009). England have alsomwon both of their previous Women’s European Championship matches at the quarter-final stage, winning 3-2 vs Finland in 2009 and 1-0 against France in 2017.

Spain, meanwhile, have lost both of their matches at this stage of the competition – both in the last two tournaments, 1-3 vs Norway in 2013 and a penalty shootout defeat to Austria in 2017.

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Martens out of Euros

Looking forward to the Netherlands’ quarter-final against France on Saturday Dutch midfielder Lieke Martens’ tournament has been brought to a premature conclusion by a foot injury.

The 29-year-old Paris St Germain summer signing sustained the problem during Sunday’s 4-1 Group C win over Switzerland.

Head coach Mark Parsons told the Oranje’s official website: “This is terrible news for Lieke and for us. She has fully committed herself to the team during this tournament.

“It is very unfortunate that her European Championship has to end like this.”

(AP)

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